Possible End of Product Placement

By Matt Van Hoven 

Reuters reports today that the Federal Communications Commission will be studying the use of product placement in television media. According to the article, there was a 13 percent increase in PP from 2006-2007. It feels like a lot more than that, in reality.

“Product Integration,” has been likened to the Trojan horse, duping consumers somehow. (WTF?) And apparently, the practice somehow diminishes our viewing experience. But doesn’t the FCC realize that without PP, many programs couldn’t make it? Why would a government agency be against money? Feels to me like they’re losing power and want to grab at this one before they go down.

Nevertheless, this was my favorite quote from the story:

“‘We must not allow television programs to become Trojan horses, carrying messages that would otherwise be criticized by the public or even deemed illegal,’ wrote the coalition, which includes Public Citizen and the Parents Television Council.'”

Some of the worst (or best, depending) product placers include Apple (take your pick), Dr. Pepper (Spiderman), Nissan (Heroes) &#151 they even went so far as to write the Versa into their script…the list goes on.

But is it really so bad? Discus.
More after the jump.

“Embedding” as it’s also called, is advertisers’ response to things like TiVo and DVR. And while it’s not usually that offensive, it’s nearly always obvious, and immediately distracts from the program. But that’s what commercials do &#151 and it sucks all around.

Another form of embedding that you see more on cable networks are the giant lower thirds that have come to envelope many of your favorite Scrubs episodes. All of this is you attempt at combating the consumers’ ability to skip over ads. What will y’all do if the FCC bans embedding all together?

Troublesome times, kids.

Thanks to Tina Dupuy at FishbowlLA for sharing the article with us.